The #64 Nakajima Honda duo of Bertrand Baguette and Kosuke Matsuura claimed an unlikely victory in the 46th running of Suzuka 1000km.

They pulled off a brilliant fourth pit stop to get out ahead of the #17 Keihin NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Takashi Kogure) that had led most of the race. The gap between Baguette and Tsukakoshi remained no more than 2 seconds between the two drivers, and it was shaping up to be a brilliant duel between the two Hondas.

But on Lap 147, the cruel hand of fate came down upon the Keihin NSX-GT yet again at the Suzuka 1000km – which suffered a catastrophic right-rear puncture and a crash at the Spoon Curves.
That allowed the Epson Modulo NSX-GT to cruise to the finish uncontested, with Matsuura driving to the chequered flag under the Safety Car in an emotional triumph.

The #23 Motul Autech GT-R of Tsugio Matsuda & Ronnie Quintarelli overcame a drive-through penalty assessed shortly after the start of the second half of the race, to come back – with 82 kilograms of ballast on board – and finish second, taking the lead in the GT500 Drivers’ Championship as the rest of their rivals had middling races.

Completing the podium in GT500, after a spirited final sprint to third place, was the #100 Raybrig NSX-GT of Naoki Yamamoto & Takuya Izawa – who took the spot in the final ten minutes of the race, away from the #1 Denso Kobelco Sard LC500 of Heikki Kovalainen & Kohei Hirate, which crashed with less than 5 minutes left in a race shortened to 171 laps.